I would like to share with you how I came into a relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
My background is very similar to that of a lot of women in the world today. I came from a broken home, step-families, abuse of every kind, and a longing to be loved. My parents tried to provide for me the best way that they knew how. They both worked very hard at financially supporting us, and actually, they did a very good job at that. Unfortunately, I always felt that they thought that money could buy you love and I knew from an early age that was not true. I don’t remember feelings of love, comfort, or security. I do remember a lot of fighting, drinking and fear. I never respected or trusted my parents, so I was a very rebellious child. Actually, several things happened to me when I was very young that took away all respect that I might have had for myself.
I left home at 16 years old and got married shortly after that to my high school boyfriend. All the problems that I thought I had run away from followed me into this relationship and even escalated. Again, I faced fear, insecurity, abuse and loneliness. Outwardly, I tried not to show this. I tried to put on the appearance that I could make it — no matter what the circumstances were. I tried my best to be optimistic and positive. I tried to gain all the strength that I could to face each day. Some days were better than others, but the underlying feelings were that of helplessness and despair. I really didn’t know what to do to get off the merry-go-round. I tried going to different churches, I tried separation, I tried running away, but to no avail. I felt like there was no escape and no hope for me.
Finally, my marriage ended up in a terrible divorce with three little children in the middle. I loved them very much and wanted to provide the love and support for them that I had never received as a child in my own home. Unfortunately, all I had been able to give them was some of what I had received — fear, insecurity and abuse.
A short time after my divorce, I got remarried. We made a commitment when we got married that if things didn’t work out the way that we thought they should, and that if we weren’t happy, that we would get divorced. We had both been through tough marriages and knew how to get out of one. We really felt like that would be the right thing to do — not to make each other miserable for years.
Well, that’s what happened. We were happy one day and miserable the next. At that time we were very involved in AA and ALANON. Through those programs we were taught a philosophy about God that we began to believe. We were taught that the people in the group could be your higher power; that you could go to the other people in the group and talk to them, either in the meetings or privately, and you could get the answers to the problems that you were facing. During this time some of my friends and I had come to the understanding and agreement that organized religion had no value to us. We had each experienced things in churches that had caused us to turn away from “denominationalism”.
During my life, beginning as a small child, I feel as though I always had a love for God in my heart. Even when I was involved in a sinful life I knew that there was a God that someday I would be judged for my life. Through different churches through the years I tried to get right with God. Each different church told me something different. Some of them I felt comfortable in for awhile, but none of them had the power to keep me or to change my life. Really, they just confused me more. The more Bible knowledge I got, the more I could see that I didn’t measure up.
Tim and I were married for about two years when I decided to make a career change. I became involved in real estate and this is really where my life took a complete turnaround. I was referred to a couple in Livonia to help them find a new home. I knew them for about six months and then, one day during a business call, the subject turned to God. Well, the rest is history!!! We talked on the phone for four hours that day. At the end of the phone conversation I had accepted an invitation to visit this church the following Wednesday evening. I was so excited that I could hardly wait!
When I got there I heard the preaching and God led me to the truth. I was convinced that baptism by submersion in Jesus’ name was the way to be Born Again! I needed to be made clean and whole and I believed that Jesus had died for my sin. I accepted his sacrifice for me and obeyed the word of God. I was baptized the following Sunday. When I came up out of the water I felt so pure, clean and light. I felt totally refreshed. I really felt brand new. I knew that ALL of my sin had been forever washed away and that I had been given a new life to live.
From that moment on, January 1986, until today I have lived my life for Jesus. He filled me with his Spirit and now he leads me and guides me in everything that I do. I know that He is my father and that he loves me. I no longer perceive him in a negative way. I have learned so much about him and I know that everything that happens to me is ultimately for my good.
Being in this church has completely changed my life! This church is not a denomination, a religion or a building. It is people who are filled with the love of God. When you need help you can always find it; whether you need help from the Pastor, or the prayers from your church family, you can count on getting what you need. It’s not only a place where you receive, but a place where you can give to others what you have been given. When I first came to New Life Assembly I was very hurt from the past, but God has completely healed my heart from every bit of pain. He truly did mend my broken heart! And he used the people at this church to do it!
~ Kathy D.